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He's Still Playing With Zeile

October 24, 2000|JASON REID

Todd Zeile left the Texas Rangers in the off-season, joining the New York Mets.

The veteran infielder signed a three-year, $17.34-million contract, hoping to help the Mets win a World Series championship.

The Mets trail the New York Yankees, 2-0, in the best-of-seven series, and Zeile has had a frustrating experience.

But the first baseman said playing for the Mets has been even better than he expected, despite their World Series problems.

"To this point, it has been great," said Zeile, who played third base for the Dodgers in 1997 and part of '98. "Playing in New York has been everything I anticipated and more.

"Yeah, we would rather be up 2-0 than down 0-2, but we're not finished yet. We've still got a chance, and I've still got a chance to accomplish all of my goals this season."

The Rangers expected to re-sign Zeile, who had been productive at third base after they acquired him in '98 from the Florida Marlins.

However, the former UCLA standout surprised many at the winter meetings in Anaheim, signing with the Mets, who needed a first baseman after John Olerud had signed with the Seattle Mariners.

Zeile batted .268 with 22 home runs and 79 runs batted in during the season.

He had timely hits in the Mets' National League division and championship series.

In Game 1 of the World Series, Zeile hit a line drive to left that bounced off the top of the padded wall and back into play.

Yankee left fielder Clay Bellinger robbed Zeile of a homer in the ninth inning of Game 2.

"It makes you wonder what you have to do to get one out of there," Zeile said. "People like to talk about 'Yankee magic' because they seem to get all the breaks, but it always looks like the other team gets the breaks when you're on the losing end of games."


Game 1: Yankees 4, Mets 3 (12)

Game 2: Yankees 6, Mets 5

Game 3: Tonight, Shea Stadium, 5:15.

Game 4: Wednesday, Shea Stadium, 5:15 p.m.

Game 5: Thursday, Shea Stadium, 5:15 p.m.*

Game 6: Saturday, Yankee Stadium, 5 p.m.*

Game 7: Oct. 29, Yankee Stadium, 5 p.m.*

TV--Ch. 11; *--if necessary (All times Pacific)

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